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Washington at San Francisco

Venue: AT&T Park
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Although the San Francisco Giants have one of the majors' top rotations, the Washington Nationals are teeing off on them like they're throwing batting practice.

The NL East-leading Nationals look to build on their highest-scoring game of the season and knock around Madison Bumgarner for the second time in six weeks Tuesday night at AT&T Park.

In Monday's opener, Washington (72-44) made quick work of Ryan Vogelsong, who came in with an NL-best 2.27 ERA, battering him for eight runs in 2 2-3 innings. The Nationals cruised to a 14-2 victory, winning for the ninth time in 10 contests to open a 5 1/2-game division lead for the first time since July 3, 2005.

"It was fun to watch the offense," Davey Johnson said. "We beat up on a pretty good pitcher."

Washington, which hasn't been 6 1/2 games ahead since 1994, erupted for 21 hits Monday, as Nos. 6-8 batters Danny Espinosa, Roger Bernadina and Kurt Suzuki combined to go 11 for 18 with 10 RBIs.

The Nationals have outscored the Giants 38-14 in winning the season's first four meetings, with Espinosa batting .588 with five RBIs, and Bryce Harper, who had a pair of singles Monday, hitting .400 with six runs.

"We've had a tough time against this club," Bruce Bochy said. "It's a tough lineup to get through, but you can't think like that. You've got to execute and make your pitches."

Monday's loss dropped the Giants into a first-place tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.

San Francisco's starters have a 12.74 ERA in the season series with Washington, and Bumgarner (12-7, 3.08 ERA) took a beating in one of those game. In the nation's capital on July 4, the left-hander surrendered a season-worst seven runs and nine hits - including homers to Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse and Jhonatan Solano - in five innings of a 9-4 loss.

Bumgarner could fare a bit better in a rematch at AT&T Park, where he is 4-0 with a 1.61 ERA in his last six starts.

The Giants (63-53), though, will be up against Jordan Zimmermann, who is 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA in his past five road starts.

With Vogelsong getting shelled Monday, Zimmermann (9-6, 2.35) became the league's ERA leader, and since June 22, his 1.60 ERA is the best in baseball. Against the Giants on July 3, he gave up two runs and seven hits while striking out seven in six innings of a 9-3 win. He has a 1.89 ERA in winning his last three starts in the series.

Zimmermann was sharp again Thursday in Houston, yielding three hits while matching a career high with 11 strikeouts in six innings of a 5-0 win. The right-hander bounced back after allowing a season-high five runs in five innings against Miami on Aug. 4.

That was the only time in his six starts since the All-Star break he gave up more than one run. The Nationals have won all those games.

"I feel like I have a pretty good season going right now," Zimmermann told the Nationals' official website. "I just want to finish strong and not fall off toward the end."

Bumgarner has a 2.54 ERA in his six starts since the break, with 45 strikeouts in 39 innings.

In St. Louis on Thursday, he allowed three runs and three hits with seven strikeouts in six innings of a 3-1 loss.

Pablo Sandoval (hamstring strain) was activated from the disabled list Monday and fouled out as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning. He is 2 for 5 with a double against Zimmermann.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Probable Starters

Jordan Zimmermann, RHP
2012 stats
145.1 Innings Pitched 154.2
9-6 Wins-Losses 12-7
2.35 Earned Run Average 3.08
25 Walks 31
110 Strikeouts 144
95 Pitches Per Start 104
Career vs. opponent
31.0 Innings Pitched 18.0
3-1 Wins-Losses 1-2
3.19 Earned Run Average 4.00

Madison Bumgarner, LHP
Weather
weather image  Morning clouds. Cool.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
65°F53°F11mph/NW78%1%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Washington1st NL East5644.560-7-3 W 1
San Francisco1st NL West5746.553-6-4 L 2
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Madison Bumgarner
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Harper32001.667
Zimmerman63100.500
Morse82112.250
Espinosa51003.200
LaRoche91005.111
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Jordan Zimmermann
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Blanco32000.667
Crawford52010.400
Sandoval52000.400
Cabrera31001.333
Posey62001.333
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Washington 105 San Francisco -115
Injuries
Washington
PlayerInjury
J. KobernusHand
R. OhlendorfBack
M. PurkeElbow
R. ZimmermanLeg
San Francisco
PlayerInjury
E. AdrianzaHamstring
B. BeltConcussion
M. CainElbow
A. PaganBack
J. PanikAnkle
H. SanchezHead
M. ScutaroBack
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 4LADSF 8-4Huff Ryu 
Apr 5LADSF 7-2Bumgarner Maholm 
Apr 6LADLAD 6-2Greinke Cain 
Apr 15SFSF 3-2Petit League 
Apr 16SFSF 2-1Machi Howell 
Apr 17SFLAD 2-1Ryu Bumgarner 
May 8LADSF 3-1Casilla Howell 
May 9LADSF 3-1Bumgarner Maholm 
May 10LADLAD 6-2Greinke Affeldt 
May 11LADSF 7-4Romo Jansen 
Jul 25SFLAD 8-1Greinke Lincecum 
Jul 26SF 9:05 PM EDT  
Jul 27SF 8:07 PM EDT  
Sep 12SF10:15 PM EDT  
Sep 13SF 9:05 PM EDT  
Sep 14SF 4:05 PM EDT  
Sep 22LAD10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 23LAD10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 24LAD10:10 PM EDT